Knicks halt losing streak by beating SixersBy Dave Buscema, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sun, Feb 24, 2013 11:21 PM EST
NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks got a little more aggressive -- perhaps too aggressive at one point -- and used some quick starts to quarters to finally end their four-game losing streak. They also extended the Philadelphia 76ers' skid to five, with a 99-93 win at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night. Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and Amar'e Stoudemire added 22 points for the Knicks (33-20), who picked up their first win since the All-Star break. J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton had 14 apiece for the Knicks, who got into a little dust-up in the third quarter involving Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Sixers center Spencer Hawes. That gave the Garden crowd a quick jolt in the middle of a game that the Knicks controlled most of the way. Jrue Holiday had 30 points and Evan Turner added 21 for Philadelphia (22-32). Thaddeus Young, who had been out with an injury nearly three weeks, started and scored 11 points in 36 minutes for the Sixers. "We were aggressive throughout the game," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We trapped some tonight. ... I liked the way we played and the bottom line is that we had to have this win tonight to get off this slide." The Knicks, whom Woodson said needed to show more composure after Smith got ejected in a recent loss to Indianapolis, had their run-in with the Sixers midway through the third, when the Knicks were leading 61-47. With less than eight minutes left in the third, Anthony smacked Hawes in the back of the head after the pair jockeyed for position for a rebound. Hawes turned to face Anthony, getting in a small shove, before Chandler protected his star teammate by shoving Hawes hard, moving him away from Anthony. Hawes and Chandler were separated and both were called for technical fouls. Anthony, initially called for a personal foul, was tagged with a Flagrant 1 foul after the play was reviewed. Anthony initially said he didn't "remember" what happened, but when pressed, said he "didn't mean to hit him in the head. I wasn't mad. I just reacted to the elbow I caught." Chandler said he was "just protecting my teammate" while Woodson said the Knicks' losing streak might have put them "on edge a little bit." Hawes pointed to the video replay showing Anthony smacking him in the head and said, "You saw what happened. I don't usually get upset like that and go off like that, so the video doesn't lie." New York took control at the start of the second quarter with a 17-2 run that gave it a 41-24 lead, mostly with Anthony on the bench as Stoudemire scored six points during the stretch. The Knicks also scored the first eight points of the third quarter, to go up 60-40, and they led by double-digits most of the rest of the game. "That was the game," Sixers coach Doug Collins said of the two Knicks' spurts. "I thought our guys fought. "I told our guys it really hurt us -- they had a 13-0 run with Carmelo on the bench," Collins added. "You can't let that happen." The Knicks entered the fourth quarter up nine, but quickly boosted the lead. Stoudemire also keyed a strong start to the fourth quarter when he scored eight of the Knicks' first 10 points in the quarter to help them go up 87-71 with 8:55 left. "That was big-time," Anthony said of Stoudemire. "On that second unit, he's our go-to guy." Philadelphia got within 98-93 with 43 seconds left on Hawes' tip-in, but Turner's shot after a drive rolled in and out on the Sixers' next possession and the Knicks held on from there. They had finally snapped their losing streak while Philadelphia could only envy the feeling the win gave New York. "Four losses will wake you up," Chandler said. "We stopped the bleeding tonight and we have to stop the slump we have been in." Notes: Kenyon Martin, signed by the Knicks to a 10-day contract Saturday, was eager to make his Knicks debut and his overall season debut after going unsigned since averaging 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 42 games for the Los Angeles Clippers last season. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said before the game the 35-year-old forward looked to be in good shape. However, Martin did not get into Sunday's game despite chants for him by the crowd in the fourth quarter. ... Philadelphia's Young had been out since Feb. 4, when he sustained a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring against the Orlando Magic. Collins said Young would give his team an element it had missed in his absence. "He gives us some speed, and that's something we desperately need," Collins said in a pre-game press conference. Young said after the game he felt all right physically. ... The Knicks offered a moment of remembrance for Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died last week, showing his image on the video scoreboard screen.
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